Good luck to any court-martialed sailor or Marine who is found guilty of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and tries to appeal.
Luck is indeed what they may need, given the shortcomings of the appeals process cited by the Defense Department Inspector General.
The IG released a damning report in December, slamming the Navy and Marine Corps for “at least two decades” of serious deficiencies in handling appeals of general and special courts-martial convictions.
The IG put the blame squarely on the JAG community, saying that over time it “lost sight” of its core mission. “There was a consistent failure in leadership and inadequate institutional vigilance … at all organizational levels involved in administering military justice,” the report says.